What virtualization software do people use?

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What virtualization software do you use?

Virtual PC
5
9%
VirtualBox
24
44%
VMWare
24
44%
Parallels
1
2%
Other (huh? there are others?)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 54

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code65536
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What virtualization software do people use?

Post by code65536 » Sat May 30, 2009 11:29 am

Out of curiosity, what virtualization software do people use?

I've been a long-time Virtual PC user because it's free and because I primarily run MS guests on MS hosts, so I figured that I might as well use Microsoft's software.

But the problem is that I don't have hardware-assisted virtualization, which means that I need on-the-fly software patchups if I want the guest OS to be even remotely usable. Virtual PC, VirtualBox, and VMWare all support such patchups, but Virtual PC is super-conservative about them: it will enable them only if it can detect the guest OS and knows that it's okay to do these patchups. So when Vista SP1 came out, it was pretty much unusable with VPC (because it wasn't "on the 'safe' list"), and it wasn't until VPC 2007 SP1 came out with an updated safe list that Vista SP1 was usable. VirtualBox and VMWare are less anal about when to use such patchups, which means that for systems without hardware virtualization, Windows 7 is usable only in VB or VMW. Which is why I recently started to use VirtualBox instead of Virtual PC. But there are features that I miss from VPC, like drag-and-drop file copy between the host and guest and the paste-as-keystrokes feature.

So what do you use, and why?
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5eraph
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Post by 5eraph » Sat May 30, 2009 11:47 am

I was a Virtual PC 2003 user until I decided to move to XP x64 and discovered that it did not support x64 guests. As far as I know Virtual PC 2007 still doesn't. VirtualBox also did not support x64 guests at that time.

My only choice was VMware Server, which is free non-trialware. I was very surprised to discover that it also allows headless VMs running on remote computers, which I can use and manage from another computer. I can run a few VMs on each of the three computers here at home, and use all of them from one chair. This makes multiple ISO testing relatively painless. :)

When VirtualBox matures a bit more I may have a look now that it supports my architecture of choice. But last I checked there were still a few issues to be ironed out. I refuse to move to VMwS 2.x because it is far too bloated and difficult to configure compared to the 1.0.x versions I have been using.
Last edited by 5eraph on Sat May 30, 2009 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Kelsenellenelvian
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Post by Kelsenellenelvian » Sat May 30, 2009 11:52 am

VMWARE!!!

Oh and I have used parallels also... (Mainly in mac though)

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Post by scarface » Sat May 30, 2009 12:02 pm

i used vmware before.

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Post by ccl0 » Sat May 30, 2009 12:25 pm

VirtualBox

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redxii
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Post by redxii » Sat May 30, 2009 12:36 pm

VirtualBox. It's free, supports more than just Windows guests. Also, VirtualBox takes 15 minutes to install XP start to finish, as opposed to Virtual PC's hour and a half (imagine how long Vista takes). For some reason it stalls when copying files in the first part of setup, it can take up to 5 minutes to copy a single file. I only have a Athlon XP 3200+, but I think that since VPC was originally a x86 emulator it is still trying to emulate x86 even if the host is x86.

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Post by jamesbebby » Sat May 30, 2009 12:57 pm

hi, witch ones the easiest for sharing files?
cheers james

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Kelsenellenelvian
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Post by Kelsenellenelvian » Sat May 30, 2009 1:31 pm

As far as I know VMWare is. It supports dragging and dropping...

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crashfly
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Post by crashfly » Sat May 30, 2009 1:47 pm

I myself have used Virtual PC before. However it does not support 64 bit guests. That was when I decided to switch over to Virtual Box. It does have support for 64 bit guests and it seems to run relatively stable.

I will *not* use VMWARE. One of my most important criteria for virtualization is the cost. I realize that VMWARE may have been first (or at least exist for a long time), but they cost more money than I am ever willing to spend on their products. MS seems to give their stuff away (after to shell out big for the OS), and Virtual Box for as long as I have know it has always been free for personal use.

Edit: They all support sharing to some point. While I am not certain on the 'drag & drop', I do know that you can set up shared folders on the host for the guest to access.
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Post by moataz » Sat May 30, 2009 3:41 pm

Virtual Box is the fastest growing VM, it's like firefox in this point, you now.. every 2 Weeks or near that they build another version.

I used VM's in this order:
1- Virtual PC
2- Parallel
3- Virtual Box
4- VM ware workstation

But i currently depend on SUN Microsystems Virtual Box.
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Post by mooms » Sat May 30, 2009 3:58 pm

I use virtualbox, but i'm disapointed since2.2x release with their newer networking drivers : they install a lot of things and i miss the older behavior.
They have released a new version yesterday btw.
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Post by OnePiece Alb » Sat May 30, 2009 4:40 pm

only VMWARE.

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Post by code65536 » Sat May 30, 2009 5:06 pm

redxii wrote:as opposed to Virtual PC's hour and a half (imagine how long Vista takes)
To be fair to VPC, installing XP is fast if you are lucky enough to have a CPU that supports hw virt. VPC only does patchups if it can detect your guest OS (which means that VPC Additions must be installed and active) and it recognizes the guest OS. Which is why VPC is slow as molasses during OS installs and bootup when VPC Additions are not available. VPC's perfectly capable of going as fast as the others if it wasn't so uptight about when it does enables on-the-fly patching. :(


Edit: after playing around with VirtualBox for a while, I noticed it has 3D acceleration, which is pretty cool in that it enables Linux guest systems to use hardware-accelerated UI effects in the VM... now if only that could be done for Aero...
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Post by user_hidden » Sat May 30, 2009 9:19 pm

@code65536

i used to use virtualpc but dumped it do to it's slooooow speed.

i tried vmware but did not really connect with it's gui.

i then tried virtualbox at version 1.1 ... have NEVR went back.
smooth install, at least 3x faster than virtualpc and is freeware.

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Post by user_hidden » Sat May 30, 2009 9:27 pm

mooms wrote:I use virtualbox, but i'm disapointed since2.2x release with their newer networking drivers : they install a lot of things and i miss the older behavior.
They have released a new version yesterday btw.

when you install 2.2.0-2.21 do not install the vbox network drivers
or if t\you are a windows host things will not work properly.

2.2.2 is fine with the install but like i said above do not install the vbox network driver and everything will run as smooth as 1.4 did for you.

read the manual for vbox to see if you require the network driver or not.

yes you will have internet connectivity in the guest without the driver installed.

as well always make sure that in the vbox setting for the network that you
have th mac address set by making a check inthe box for :cable connected" in the nat settings. the settings are accessible if you click:
machine > settings > network
now next to the "Attached to:" you should have NAT and next to that box
is a "cog whell" button.
click on that button and that is where the "cable connected" tab is.
once checked it will set your mac address.

thanks for the heads up for 2.2.4.

....oh and did i mention code65k that here are frequent bug fix releases.

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Post by mooms » Sat May 30, 2009 11:28 pm

thank you for the info user_hidden, i will try !
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Post by redxii » Sun May 31, 2009 1:33 am

The VPC Vista guest additions took a good 20 or so minutes to install. It took forever to launch setup and forever for that progress bar to finish. All that stuff like Sidebar and Windows Search Indexing among a million other things running by default didn't help. I miss drag-and-drop from VPC, but if I can test an update pack or addon in 20 minutes, instead of 2 hours, I'll gladly give it up for the slightly more complicated shared folders. I can't get that time back :x

I have a Turion X2 laptop w/ the hardware virtualization. I use it mainly to watch hi-def videos or Hulu (because my XP 3200+ is too slow to compensate for Flash Player's excessive CPU usage on Hulu in fullscreen). I might use it to compile a NSIS installer faster but never virtual machines/ISOs because the HD is only 120GB, Vista needs 40GB.
Last edited by redxii on Sun May 31, 2009 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by mooms » Sun May 31, 2009 12:59 pm

user_hidden: it works, thank you !!
redxii: maybe try an other soft, like virtual box ?
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Post by redxii » Sun May 31, 2009 1:52 pm

I'm already using VirtualBox..

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Post by jamesbebby » Sun May 31, 2009 4:01 pm

hi, just download virtualbox, its so much faster then vmware i will be sticking to it now! [can i change my vote LOL]
cheers james

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Post by Kelsenellenelvian » Sun May 31, 2009 4:46 pm

Unless of course you want to try a 64 bit os or someting else like Linux.

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Post by crashfly » Sun May 31, 2009 6:57 pm

Kel, virtual box now supports 64 bit guests. So virtual box does handle most anyone's problems.
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Post by Kelsenellenelvian » Sun May 31, 2009 7:11 pm

OMG really??? I looked at their site and it said x86.

Thank you for correcting me.

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Post by crashfly » Sun May 31, 2009 9:48 pm

Let me clarify. Virtual box allows 64 bit guests on 64 bit hosts. The best you can do on a 32 bit host is 32 bit guests.
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redxii
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Post by redxii » Sun May 31, 2009 10:08 pm

VirtualBox 2.1 and up allows 64-bit guests on 32-bit hosts providing the host has x86-64 processor with hardware virtualization support.

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Post by 5eraph » Sun May 31, 2009 11:11 pm

VMware has a utility to check for x64 guest compatibility. Hardware virtualization support is not necessarily required (in VMware, at least). VMware can run x64 guests on an x86 host with the right processor. My four-year-old Athlon64 4800+ can do it.

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Post by code65536 » Sun May 31, 2009 11:58 pm

Kelsenellenelvian wrote:or someting else like Linux.
Actually, Linux runs quite well with VirtualBox, esp. since VB now supports OpenGL acceleration in the guest, so you can use the hardware-accelerated UI effects found in the newer Linuxes.
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Post by n7Epsilon » Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:20 pm

VirtualBox mainly for the remote RDP support (and its ability to copy / paste across RDP).
I hated VMware's VNC implementation because of that (and the slowness)

Also VMware is now bloated with stuff I don't use and VirtualBox just works.
Although one thing against VirtualBox is that you're more likely to run into weird quirks with OSs more than VMware.

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Post by jamesbebby » Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:04 pm

hi, does any know the switches for VirtualBox v2.2.4?
cheers james

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Post by user_hidden » Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:24 pm

jamesbebby wrote:hi, does any know the switches for VirtualBox v2.2.4?
cheers james

The exe must be extracted/unpacked and then use msi installer switches can be used.

I actually just posted a VirtualBox Multimode Installer
http://www.ryanvm.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=93632#93632

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Post by eksasol » Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:49 pm

Kelsenellenelvian wrote:OMG really??? I looked at their site and it said x86.

Thank you for correcting me.
Sometimes people misuses or misunderstand the label x86, using the label only for x86-32bit operating systems and not meaning the x86 architecture as whole.

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Post by geoslake » Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:17 am

I use Virtualbox because there's a portable version :)

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Post by eksasol » Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:22 pm

I am force to use portable version of VirtualBox now because I vLited my Windows 7 and I have no idea which component I removed that made it not possible to install Virtualbox.

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Post by newsposter » Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:18 pm

ah, the joys and dangers of uninformed point and click OS play........

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Post by electrogen » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:56 am

I used to use MS Virtual PC but was too slow. So changed to VirtualBox.

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Post by Knowone » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:13 pm

I've used VirtualBox quite extensively earlier, but found myself gravitating back to VMWare after a while. Really wanted to like VB, but in the end it was just a tad too lightweight and unstable.

VMWare on the other hand, while being much "heavier" on the system gets the job done reliably, and besides the excellent VMWare Tools addon from Kel takes much of the hassle out of it. :)
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Post by beats » Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:13 pm

Hmm, I use about all of them. It just depends on the OS I want to run. Some VM's don't run NeXTSTEP, others don't like Solaris that much, etc.

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